NFL Draft Needs: The Detroit Lions (First of 32 Daily Team Reports)

Dennis ShayContributor IMarch 13, 2009

This is the first installment of 32 reports on every teams' draft needs. I am writing a team report for each team in preparation for a mock draft that I am working on. (Look for Shay's Mock Draft in about 32 days.)

I had not planned on doing reports, but I collected all the information I need for them in my research for the draft so why not? In these reports I have graded all positions I thought relevant to the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

I did not give grades to special teams positions or fullbacks.

I assigned all team's positions a letter grade based on my believe of the level of security for each position when considering the NFL draft. 

Great starters with great backups would get the highest grades and no talent/depth in a position would warrant a low grade. The lowest grades on each team would be that teams needs.

Report Card (unsigned free agents are assumed gone and not considered in grade evaluation):

Quarterback (QB)=   D-   Solid play at the QB position has been missing in Detroit for a while. Could Mathew Stafford be the answer?


Running Back (RB)=   C   With Kevin Smith coming off a solid rookie season and Maurice Morris coming over from Seattle the Lions are likely set at RB. Even though they had the third worst rush offense last year.


Wide Receiver (WR)=   B-   Calvin and Bryant Johnson will be a formidable duo.


Tight End (TE)=   D+   The Lions should take a long look at this position following their first pick.


Tackle (T)=   C   Detroit used their first pick last year on this position so I don't believe a tackle is in real consideration until day two of the draft. 


Guard (G)=   D+   An upgrade or two here would not hurt.


Center (C)=   C   No comment.


Defensive Tackle (DT)=   C-   The acquisition of Grady Jackson can only help the league's worst rush defense.  If this position is considered I don't believe it will be until late on day two unless a steal is available.


Linebacker (LB)=   D   Ernie Sims has a future, but the defense doesn't if they don't get Sims some help.  Aaron Curry?


Cornerback (CB)=   B-   The addition of Philip Buchanon helps make the CB position one of the top positions on the young team.


Safety (S)=   F   They need more than just Daniel Bullocks.


There aren't too many positions that the Lions are set at. Although I would say that the CB,WR,RB and T positions will not be addressed until possibly late in the draft. 

With the first pick of the NFL Draft the Lions are going to take a long look at Mathew Stafford and Aaron Curry. Stafford would bring a strong arm to an offense in need of it. 

He would benefit from a playmaker like Calvin Johnson, but may struggle leading an offense with mostly, mediocre talent. Unless the Lions are really sure that Stafford is THEIR guy I think Aaron Curry would be the best option.

Curry and Ernie Sims together would dramatically change the look of their defense.

TE, G, S and which ever position is not addressed with the first pick are the positions the Lions need to consider. 

Here are some top prospects at the TE, G and S positions that may be available for the 20th pick of the draft (Detroit's 2nd pick in first round):

Tight Ends-  Jared Cook (S. Carolina), Cornelius Ingram (Florida), Brandon Pettigrew (Oklahoma State)


Safeties-   Patrick Chung (Oregon), Louis Delmas (Western Michigan), Rashad Johnson (Alabama)


Guards-   Andrew Levitre (Oregon State), Duke Robinson (Oklahoma)


I hope that this report has been beneficial in preparation for your favorite teams draft.  I will be publishing team reports daily until I have reached the Super Bowl Champion Steelers.

Don't forget to look for my in-depth mock draft (about 32 days away) to see what direction your teams draft may go!

Coming Tomorrow:  Draft Needs Report:  The St. Louis Rams